Higher Education

The development of a new scientific discipline requires focused education of young scientists engaged in the new discipline

Faculty, staff, graduate student and post-doctoral researchers from all of the U.S. and SoilTrEC CZOs mingle along a roadside in the White Mountains of Crete during a joint meeting and field trip hosted by the Technical University of Crete and Koiliaris CZO during September 2008.

Educational Resources (examples for Higher Education)

  • Grades 15 - 16

    CZ Science 7. Humans in the Critical Zone

    GIS/RemoteSensing +

    Curriculum

    Preview

    National

  • × A Pennsylvania cliff, illustrating a cross section of the Critical Zone with trees, soil, and bedrock.

    Grades 15 - 16

    CZ Science 7. Humans in the Critical Zone

    GIS/RemoteSensing • SocialScience

    Curriculum

    This module examines how geoscientists study processes in the Critical Zone and the interactions between natural processes and human activities that affect it. The module is part of a undergraduate course on CZ Science hosted by InTeGrate SERC.

    Educational Objectives

    By the end of this module students will be able to:

    • Develop scientific and geoscientific habits of mind through geospatial environmental analysis.
    • Identify, interpret and develop mediation techniques to address human impacts to the Critical Zone.
    • Identify and explain the impacts of various methods of agricultural production on soils.
    • Critically examine research proposals and describe how the proposal would address CZ questions and grand challenges.

    More on this module's objectives can be found here.

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    Audience: Higher Education

    Observatory: National CZO

    Author: Susan Gill (Stroud Water Research Center), Ashlee Dere (University of Nebraska - Omaha), and Jim Washburne (Pima Community College and University of Arizona)


    Contact:


    Funding: National Science Foundation–funded SERC InTeGrate project

    Related Resource:

  • Grades K - Professional

    Mt. Lemmon science tour app

    All Disciplines

    App & Tour

    Preview

    Catalina-Jemez

  • × A view from Mt. Lemmon.  Two hikers stand on a rock outcrop and look down onto the steep valleys below.

    Grades K - Professional

    Mt. Lemmon science tour app

    All Disciplines

    App • Tour

    Use a narrative "science tour" app for the drive up Mt. Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona. Travel from desert to pine forest, listening to the audio guide and watching slideshows and videos. Learn how our world is sustained by natural environments, systems, and cycles.

    Educational Objectives

    Describe the natural history of Mt. Lemmon with special attention to geology and biology. The tour follows the Catalina Highway to the top of Mt. Lemmon.

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    Audience: K-12 • General Public • Higher Education • Research Community

    Observatory: Catalina-Jemez CZO

    Author: Producer: Shipherd Reed (Univ. of Arizona)

    Funding: NSF CZO, Contributions from UA College of Science and other regional organizations

  • Grades 15 - 16

    CZ Science 6. Geochemistry & biogeochemistry

    Geochemistry/Mineralogy +

    Curriculum

    Preview

    National

  • × A Pennsylvania cliff, illustrating a cross section of the Critical Zone with trees, soil, and bedrock.

    Grades 15 - 16

    CZ Science 6. Geochemistry & biogeochemistry

    Geochemistry/Mineralogy • Biogeochemistry

    Curriculum

    This module examines the integrated roles that biology, geology, and chemistry play in the CZ. Use data from real world systems to understand how the CZ is involved in key biogeochemical functions. This module is part of a undergraduate course on CZ Science hosted by InTeGrate SERC.

    Educational Objectives

    By the end of this module students will be able to:

    • Develop a scientific and geoscientific habit of mind through biogeochemical-based activities.
    • Evaluate the chemical and biological processes and reactions that govern the composition of the CZ.
    • Explain the role of CZ services in supporting terrestrial life, including humanity.
    • Explain and use examples of how organisms and biodiversity affect biogeochemical processes.
    • Use data, and examples from published scientific literature to explain critical zone functions.
    • Explain some of the common methods used in biogeochemical research.
    • Explain the effect of differences in land-use on nutrient cycling and critical zone functions.

    More on this module's objectives can be found here.

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    Audience: Higher Education

    Observatory: National CZO

    Author: Adam Hoffman (University of Dubuque) and Adam Wymore (University of New Hampshire)


    Funding: National Science Foundation–funded SERC InTeGrate project

    Related Resource:

  • Grades 13 - Professional

    2017 CZO Webinar Series: Critical Zone and Society

    All Disciplines

    Video

    Preview

    Cross-CZO

  • × Screenshot from a video showing several drainages in cultivated fields.  Screenshot is from a webinar titled 'Blue Revolution: Water scarcity in a changing world'

    Grades 13 - Professional

    2017 CZO Webinar Series: Critical Zone and Society

    All Disciplines

    Video

    Watch six science lectures that highlight the importance of the Critical Zone on society and environmental sustainability. Many topics are discussed including soil degradation, drought resilience, water security, flooding, landslides, wildfire, ecosystem services, public policy, and more.

    Educational Objectives

    Viewers will be able to discuss the aspects of the CZ vulnerable to the presence of humanity, and how they may be altered due to global climate and land-use change. 

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    Audience: Higher Education • Research Community

    Observatory: National CZO • Catalina-Jemez CZO • IML CZO • Shale Hills CZO • Sierra CZO

    Author: Susan Brantley (PSU), David Breshears (UoA), Jason Field (UoA, Praveen Kumar (UIllinois), Roger Bales (UC-Merced), Jon Pelletier (UoA) and Steve Banwart (ULeeds)


    Contact:


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The most successful of these education activities has been the CZO International Scholars program. Through support from NSF-International Programs-Europe since 2007, 54 graduate students within and outside of the CZOs from 16 universities througout the United States have visited more than 20 European host institutions and field sites. In the process, the student travelers have broadened their scientific knowledge and perspective, availed of unique expertise and instrumentation not available in the U.S., and generated data sets to compare to information gathered from field sites and labs at or associated with the various U.S. CZOs. A compilation of abstracts and papers derived in whole or in part from this support is available under associated files (see below). The program will continue in 2015 through 2019 due to funds provided to the CZO National Office from an NSF Science Across Virtual Institutes grant.

A group of six CZO collaborators are currently working to develop a new undergraduate curriculum in Critical Zone science. Their effort is supported by the NSF-funded InTeGrate program and aims to develop a new semester-long course comprised of stand-alone, ~two-week long modules. The course has been fully developed and moved into the testing phase at 6 universites - in 2015 that course content will be available on the SERC website and here for anyone to use in their courses.

Tim White, as national coordinator, and Susan Gill, Stroud Water Research Center education director, developed a successful Research Experience for Undergraduates program that places 6 undergraduate students each at the Christina River Basin and Shale Hills CZOs during the summers of 2014 through 2016. The results of those REUs were presented at the 2014 biennial meeting of CUAHSI entitled Water Across the Critical Zone, and will soon be available for download here.


The higher education program has also been enriched by close CZO ties to its European counterpart, Soil Transformations in European Catchments (SoilTrEC), a research initiative that includes 4 CZOs in Europe. Each year SoilTrEC stages a variety of graduate student and post-doctoral research training workshops and meetings and graciously invites U.S. students and other participants, while the U.S. NSF has provided funds to support limited participation in some of those workshops. Most recently, 14 U.S. students, half from within and half from outside the formal CZO program, participated in a reactive transport modeling workshop held at the Technical University of Crete in July 2012.

Georg Lair, Manos Kotronakis, and Taru Lehtinen in Crete, October 2012.

U.S CZOs have also hosted European graduate students and post-doctoral researchers for training events. Here three graduates of the 2010 Critical Zone field school held at the Susquehanna-Shale Hills CZO, Georg Lair, Manos Kotronakis, and Taru Lehtinen, share a moment together in Crete at the annual meeting of SoilTrEC, October 2012.

Georg Lair, Manos Kotronakis, and Taru Lehtinen in Crete, October 2012.


Associated Files

Intlscholarspub
(88 KB pdf)
List of abstracts and publications derived from International Scholars funding provided by the US NSF.



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